Centering Practice   1 comment

Right now one of the things that I am working on is centering. My new 6 month spiritual goal is to  habitually center myself periodically throughout the day. I really crave the peace of being centered during ordinary life, and yet I haven’t been able to it. I kept procrastinating, unable to make the commitment. The noise of “being busy” was too seductive. It is amazing how much of a trap busy-ness and stress are. Just think about how often people complain (brag) about  how late they were up working last night, or the all-nighter they had to pull, or the extra hours at work, or how much housework had to be done. In high school I actually kept a log of what time, to the minute, I went to bed and woke up so that I wouldn’t just be telling fish tales but substantiated stories about how little sleep I got. I keep the log as I reminder of my craziness. Plus it is one of those things that will make my kids roll their eyes, I hope. Our society is so focused on doing more in less time, and doing it louder and brighter. As my life circumstance change, I know that I need to break out of that cycle of busy – brainless – busy – brainless. And the only way to slow down, is to slow down. Centering is part of that for me.

I center on my breath. I tried centering prayer back in college (where you meditate using a specific word, and then at any time in your day you can think that word and re-center) but it didn’t work very well for me. The part where you regularly practice meditating using the specific word is where I got hung up, since I could never settle on a single word or phrase. I’ve also tried walking meditations but I’ve yet to figure out how that is supposed to work.

My basic breath meditation evolved from the counting meditation where you repeatedly count 10 breaths. If your mind wanders, you start counting at one again. In college I was able to do the counting meditation without my mind wandering. And then things changed. At some point I got fed up with never getting past “4” and decided to just think “inhale” and “exhale”. I figured that I could concentrate long enough for one breath at at time and I wouldn’t feel like a dunce when my mind wandered. That evolved quickly into not necessarily thinking “inhale” and “exhale” and just feeling them instead. I feel the breath come in my nose, fill my lungs, and lift up my entire body; and then I feel my lungs empty and my body relax. Mentally, on the exhale I go down through the first chakra (base chakra, located at the base of the spine) into the ground and into the spiritual body that connects us all, which brings me back up and into my center. At first it seemed weird to have to connect to the universe first in order to connect with myself, but now it actually makes sense. Since I’ve been practicing this for a while, it almost automatic when I think of it.

That is what my goal relates to. Not so much the meditating and centering at night, but throughout the day. Just meditating at night is great, but I felt almost like I had two separate lives. Now I want to have mini-meditations consisting of one or two breaths throughout the day. At work I have a Task in my Outlook that used to be titled “Move” to remind me to get up and stretch every 30 minutes (I just keep hitting the button for 30-minute snooze). Now I am using that to remind myself to take a short mental break and take a breath. Two weeks of focusing on nightly meditation, Mountain pose and Sun Salutation in the the morning, and periodic centering breaks during the day are already making a difference. Nothing else about life has changed, but I already feel much more at peace.

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One response to “Centering Practice

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  1. I think i will practice this,,So i could achieve the peacefulness that you did..I really need it so badly..I think if i will take a deep breath now..And pose for a while my head will explode because of anger and boredom.

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